Report On Northeast Ohio Highway Holiday Danger

By ED GALLEK, Hometeam News Reporter

CLEVELAND - This story affects everyone driving anywhere this holiday weekend. You might want to change how and when you drive.

It's a crash course that could save your life. 19 News did some digging. We can tell you when most crashes happen on Thanksgiving weekend and why.

What we found is not what most people think. Take a guess. What's the most dangerous time to be on Ohio highways during Thanksgiving weekend?

"Probably, 11 to 1 a.m.," said one driver.

"I would say probably around midnight," said another.

19 News analyzed five years of highway patrol records for turnpike crashes on Thanksgiving weekends. The most dangerous hours were 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

State troopers tell us more accidents happen during those hours because those are the times on Thanksgiving weekends when the highways are busiest.

So what do you think causes the most crashes?

Most drivers' answers range from alcohol to carelessness to congestion on the roads.

Last year, statewide the highway patrol says 13 people died in Thanksgiving weekend crashes. But only 3 of those deaths were related to alcohol.

And year-round, the leading causes of crashes are speed, following too closely and failure to yield.

No surprise to driver Brian Mitchell.

"I was coming in on Wednesday, I'm a student at College of Wooster. People were going 78, 79 miles-per-hour in a 60 mile-per-hour zone," said Mitchell.

Whether you're travelling at sunset or under moonlight, now you know what to watch out for most and when.

So what are your chances of getting in an accident during the Thanksgiving weekend? Last year, statewide, the Highway Patrol handled more than 4,400 crashes.